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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

NOTICES

MatJiurd: a District Memoir. By F. S. GROVSE. Second Edition. (Printed
at the North-Western Provinces and Oudh Government Press.) It has been our
lot not only to pee, bnt also to read through, nearly all the accounts of districts and
of provinces which the example of Dr. W. W. Hunter has drawn in recent years
from so many Anglo-Indian officials. They contain a magazine of local information
which has never been duly appreciated in this country. So far as possible, the
cream of the labour of a hundred willing but unknown workers will be given to the
English public in the forthcoming Imperial Gazetteer of India But students will
always be anxious to resort to the fountain-head. To such we recommend Mr.
G-rowse's District Memoir as probably the one among all which is most inspired with
the genuine love of India and the Indian people. A photograph of a great native
banker (now dead), taken by a native, faces the title-page; and all through the volume
native art, native forms of religion, native manners and customs, are the chief
subjects dealt with. Mr. Growse is not only one of the first of Hindi scholars; he is
also a sympathetic imitator of Hindu architecture. To turn to his pages and his
numerous photographs, after having dazed our wits in the labyrinthine figures
of an administration .or settlement report, is like passing from the glare of a
tropical sun into the cool of some Hindu shrine or Muhammadan tomb. We
feel that we are learning something of the charm which still envelopes the East for
all those who have the faculty to perceive ft.-

We wish there were more Indian civil servants like Mr. drowse, with eyes
open to see and intellects cultivated to appreciate the marvels of which the
country where their sphere of duty lies is full. Unhappily, Indian " civilians"
are as a class Philistine to their hearts* core. A competent observer tells us
that "it is a very exceptional thing for them to possess a real knowledge of i\he
colloquial vernacular," and that "they know next to nothing really of the
habits, standpoints, and modes of thought of the people." They do not think
these things worth knowing. Contempt for the race they are called upon to
rule is too often the dominant feeling in the awkward, cold, pig-beaded, and
Bariow-minded young Englishman who goes out to India from an English uni-
versity or an English crammer's establishment. It is a feeling which is absolutely
fatal to an intelligent appreciation of Hindu or Muhammadan art or literature.
The author of this exceedingly interesting district memoir is an official
of a very different type. It may be truly said of him that "hİ brought an İye